11. Next Steps
Throughout our work, we have aimed to be both ambitious and realistic in our recommendations. We believe that the agricultural industry will be stronger when women take their rightful place in the industry, but cultural change takes time. It should be expected that there will be some significant changes over the next five years, yet we know that other types of progress may take longer. The Scottish Government is committed to giving gender equality in agriculture the continued attention it deserves and needs for the overall well-being of the industry.
We are concerned that the way in which agricultural data is collected reinforces gender bias in the agricultural industry. Having to name one responsible person for the business reinforces the assumption that businesses are operated by one individual, or if by a number of people, there is a hierarchy of authority with one individual at the top. In both cases this is traditionally assumed to be a man. Agricultural statistics and applications for financial support or grants must accurately reflect current Scottish agricultural practice and not reinforce gendered assumptions.
- The Scottish Government will review the gender assumptions underpinning how it collects agricultural data.
- The Scottish Government will undertake a full review of the impact of the recommendations contained within this report by the end of 2027.
We are confident that our recommendations will make a real difference. However, if significant and sustained change does not occur then we also recommend that the Scottish Government reassess what actions are required and consider more robust measures.
It will be important for everyone working in the agricultural industry to hold themselves and others to account to ensure that change is real and sustained. Equality and diversity will make our industry more successful. Making women’s full contribution more visible and enabling their greater role in the agricultural industry will make it stronger. Ongoing monitoring of all recommendations will be vital, and the industry must co-operate with the Scottish Government to ensure data can be gathered to evidence change.